Requirements before installing Lizmap Web Client


If you want to quickly install and test Lizmap Web Client in a few steps, you can follow those instructions using Docker and Docker-Compose.

Server administration knowledge

Installing and maintaining a Lizmap Web Client instance requires some knowledge about system administration.

You will need to be familiar with:

  • installing a web server (Nginx, Apache…). Lizmap is written in PHP, so you should be familiar with a stack similar to LAMP. This documentation will not cover the Apache section because it can be adapted

  • reading and setting an environment variable

  • understanding how processes are launched on a server

  • reading logs from stderr for QGIS Server

  • managing a PostgreSQL database

  • debugging HTTP queries with cURL

These concepts are not explained in the Lizmap Web Client documentation. The documentation is focusing only on specific parts related to Lizmap Web Client.

GIS data and QGS files

Lizmap Web Client does not enforce where to store data on the disk. You are free to store your files where you want on the server.

For instance, you can use /srv/lizmap/data/. Then, when configuring Lizmap, you can choose the rootRepositories variable to define the root repositories for all your data. Lizmap Web Client will display a dropdown menu showing directories in the root folder.

Otherwise, if you don’t want to define a root repository for your GIS data, you will need to use absolute path when defining a new Lizmap repository. There won’t be a dropdown menu but a text field instead.


Lizmap Web Client does not provide any file transfer from your QGIS desktop to your server. You must setup your own way to transfer files between your computer and your server.

QGIS Server


Before installing the QGIS Server part, it is very highly recommended to use the same version between QGIS Desktop and QGIS Server.

Even if some functions might work, there is a probability that some configuration won’t work if these two versions are different.

The reason is QGIS Server version X might not be able to a QGIS project made with a QGIS Desktop version Y.

Follow the QGIS Server documentation on how to install QGIS Server.

Using a webserver (Apache or Nginx), you must install QGIS Server. With Nginx, the preferred way is to use spawn-fcgi. Do not use the fcgiwrap, this solution is not efficient.

In the Nginx configuration, it’s good to use the QGIS_OPTIONS_PATH variable for a folder with write permissions for www-data. These is explained in the QGIS Server documentation.

You should also install and configure XVFB mentioned in the QGIS Documentation. This is useful for printing PDF. You can only skip this section if you don’t plan to print PDF on the server side.

After you have setup your web server with QGIS-Server, check that the URL of QGIS Server is working. You probably get a XML like:

<ServerException>Project file error</ServerException>

Keep this URL, we will use it later in the Lizmap admin panel.


We strongly encourage you to set up QGIS Server on a different virtual host than Lizmap Web Client. QGIS Server URL should stay private, accessible by the Lizmap PHP application only.

Otherwise, especially after the Lizmap plugin on QGIS Server is installed, your user might be able to access private data if they by-pass Lizmap, by using straight QGIS Server URL.

QGIS Server plugins

Some plugins can be added to QGIS Server. Please check the QGIS Server documentation about plugins on the server side.


The Lizmap server plugin is required.

Plugins listed below will enable some features in Lizmap Web Client.

Either you should setup the QGIS_PLUGINPATH environment variable during the installation of QGIS Server or use the default one provided by QGIS.


To manage QGIS Server plugins, we encourage you to use qgis-plugin-manager, a CLI tool to install and upgrade plugins.


Look to other QGIS server plugins on the official repository.

But, install only plugins you need you. On QGIS server, plugins are like hooks into QGIS server, they can alter input or output of QGIS server. They can produce unexpected result if you don’t know how the plugin works. Please refer to their respective documentation.

Lizmap QGIS Server plugin

The Lizmap QGIS Server plugin is required and will add some features on Lizmap Web Client :

  • retrieve information from QGIS Server.

  • evaluate QGIS Expressions in forms about :

  • check User Access Rights (ACL) for features and layers :

    • filter by polygon

    • by attribute

  • use the Form popup, read QGIS Drag&Drop Form popup.

  • enable @lizmap_user and lizmap_user_groups variables in QGIS projects

QGIS Server side

Please check the QGIS Server documentation about plugins on the server side.

The Lizmap server plugin, called Lizmap server, is required in the correct folder for QGIS Server.

With QGIS-Plugin-Manager :

# Not correct, this plugin is only for QGIS desktop
# qgis-plugin-manager install Lizmap

# Correct, the plugin designed for QGIS server
qgis-plugin-manager install 'Lizmap server'


You must install the Lizmap server plugin. The Lizmap plugin is designed only for QGIS desktop. Do not keep both on your server.

For security reason, to enable the API on the QGIS server side, you must enable the environment variable

QGIS_SERVER_LIZMAP_REVEAL_SETTINGS with the value set to True on QGIS server.

This variable will expose server settings such as QGIS server version, which is used by Lizmap Web Client.

# Apache FCGI example
# nginx fastcgi


You must be ensured that this API http://your.qgis.server.url/lizmap/server.json is protected on your webserver. The best is to restrict the access to QGIS server http://your.qgis.server.url on a virtual host, not accessible on the internet. All requests to QGIS server will be sent by Lizmap Web Client. QGIS server mustn’t be accessible from outside. It was already highly recommended before to protect the QGIS Server from the internet. Users must use WFS/WMS links provided by Lizmap Web Client, so Lizmap can check user permissions.

Administration panel

If your are using QGIS Server with FCGI, the Lizmap API URL must be empty.

Otherwise, if you are using Py-QGIS-Server, the Lizmap API URL must be configured in the administration interface. In Py-QGIS-Server, you must explicitly publish the API as well.

Starting from Py-QGIS-Server version 1.8.4, it’s possible to enable the Lizmap API endpoint with the environment variable QGSRV_API_ENDPOINTS_LIZMAP=yes otherwise, add the configuration below in your configuration file :



Then, with Py-QGIS-Server, if your URL for OWS is http://map:8080/ows/, it means the URL for the Lizmap API endpoint is http://map:8080/lizmap/.


PostgreSQL can be used for three different purposes in Lizmap :

  • To store GIS data. No configuration is needed on the Lizmap Web Client server side, only the PostgreSQL server must be accessible from the Lizmap Web Client server and QGIS Server. It’s possible to edit layers with Lizmap, but the layer must be stored in PostgreSQL. See Prerequisites.

  • To store Lizmap Web Client users and user actions. Lizmap uses tables. This setting must be done when installing Lizmap.

  • To use lizmap_search, see PostgreSQL search. This setting on the Lizmap server can be set when you need it.